Stem cell therapies for osteoarthritis
Significant progress has been made in understanding the challenges to successful stem cell therapy, such as the effects of age or disease on stem cell properties, altered stem cell function due to an inflammatory joint environment, and phenotypic instability in vivo.
Novel scaffold designs have been shown to enhance the mechanical properties of tissue-engineered cartilage and have also improved the integration of newly formed tissue within the joint. Emerging strategies such as injecting stem cells directly into the joint, manipulating endogenous stem cells to enhance regenerative capacity, and utilizing stem cells for drug discovery have expanded the potential uses of stem cells in treating OA.
A number of recent studies have greatly advanced the development and pre-clinical evaluation of potential stem cell-based treatments for OA through novel approaches focused on cell therapy, tissue engineering, and drug discovery.